Get involved, save Pinellas' history
The historic 1897 Victorian-style Belleview Biltmore Resort & Spa was saved from demolition because of widespread Tampa Bay community support both inside and outside of Belleair, Belleair commissioner support and G. Michael Harris finding buyer Legg Mason Real Estate Investors, which will return the "White Queen of the Gulf" to its original splendor.
Unfortunately, three historic Pinellas County properties have been demolished over the past two years, another will be partially demolished and one other building's fate is in question. History once demolished can never be recreated.
In February 2008 Pinellas County established a countywide historic preservation program and declared historic preservation as public policy. Pinellas County can slow demolition of historic buildings once a historic preservation ordinance is passed. However, people need to be aware that this depends upon the acceptance of the Pinellas preservation ordinance by each individual city, in a timely manner.
Citizens need to contact their representatives to ensure their cities agree to historic preservation. Otherwise, more of Pinellas County's history will fall under the wrecking ball of development.
If one of your valuable historic structures is under threat of demolition in your city, contact local preservation societies, speak out at city commission meetings, and if necessary, start a grass roots effort and organize a nonprofit organization with a Web site to try to save a building from demolition.
We encourage Tampa Bay residents to further participate in saving our valuable history.
Diane Hein, president, Save the Biltmore Preservationists, (www.SaveTheBiltmore.com), Clearwater
Spoiled beaches will cost state big
Our beaches have been voted best in area and tourists agree. Without the beaches and tourists, what does Florida have going for it? Where is our extra money going to come from? A state tax?
Think long and hard about whether we gain more than we lose before you spoil our shorelines.
Sharon Shafran, Tarpon Springs
Stick it to Nielsen: Berate the media
Point of information regarding the Nielsen Co. in Oldsmar: The Nielsen Co. cannot be attacked for being an uncaring American corporation. The fact is that they are a Dutch company started by two Dutch companies that merged. Their headquarters is in the Netherlands, although they have a second headquarters in New York. So that explains their total uncaring attitude toward American workers and Oldsmar, and why they couldn't care less what Americans think.
If you want to affect Nielsen, complain to the media companies (radio, television, etc.) that utilize Nielsen for their market research. Make those companies hurt until they stop doing business with that foreign company.
David Zimlin, Dunedin